The poor 2012/13 rainfall season characterized by late onset of rains, prolonged mid- season dry spells and an abrupt end to the season, affected crops planted in October and November 2012, thereby reducing area planted and overall production of most crops. The grazing condition and water in the affected areas is likely to be inadequate during the dry season. Generally the livestock condition is currently fair. Most of households in the affected areas depend on the market for their basic food needs. Access to food is further constrained by high food(in particular staple) prices. Almost 12 to 17% of these households without external support, have no means to access food on the market. Casual labour is the main source of income though it pays low and its availability is highly irregular.
Rainfall distribution was erratic both in space and time across all the provinces. The first effective rains were followed by a long dry spell which was coupled by very high temperatures in parts of Midlands, Masvingo and Matabeleland North and South provinces. This affected overall production of most crops resulting in very low cereal stocks from own production. The poor grazing condition and water in the affected areas experienced in the dry season is likely to improve following the first flash of rains expected in December/ January. Generally the livestock condition is expected to improve as the season progresses. Most of the households in the affected areas will still depend on the market for their basic food needs. Access to food might further be constrained by high food(in particular staple) prices. Almost 20-40% of these households will have no means to access food on the market . Casual labour is expected to be generally available on-farm.